Three Things That Can Make Living In An Older Home Tough

Home & Garden Blog

If you live in a much older home, you may have encountered some challenges to modern living. While older homes have their charms, these issues can be irksome over time. Here are three common problems with old homes and some solutions for dealing with them.


If you live in a home built in the late 19th Century or very early 20th Century, your house may have been originally heated with a fireplace. If it's just a little newer, it may have central heat, but it's likely to be via radiator.

Radiant heat can be great, but it comes with one downfall: no ducts for summertime air conditioning. You have a couple of options here. You can install a new forced air heating system, which will allow you to also set up central air. This is quite costly, as it is a major renovation of every room in your home.

A less invasive and expensive solution may be to just live with the radiators for heat and install window air conditioners. You could also install a whole house fan, which would keep air moving and pull hot air up and out through the top of the house.

Water Softening

Water softeners have been around for well over 100 years. However, many water softening systems in old homes bypassed the kitchen, because it was believed unsoftened water tasted better.

While this isn't a big deal if you're only running water in your kitchen sink, it can be more of a problem if you have a dishwasher or refrigerator with a water dispenser. These appliances can get covered with lime scale very quickly and malfunction.

You have a number of options in this situation:

  • Keep the kitchen on bypass as it is, and budget for new appliances sooner than normal.
  • Have the water softener operating on hot water only. This will save your dishwasher, but you might have to replace the fridge more often. You could also just not use the water features on your refrigerator.
  • Install a faucet in the kitchen exclusively for drinking water, and use a water softener for everything else.

Wood Trim

If you do any renovations on an old home that involve doors or windows, you may have trouble matching the original trim, especially if you have trim like cove molding. This is a relatively easy but somewhat costly fix: find a custom mill to replicate the trim for you.

To ensure the best match to the old trim, bring in a piece of the original trim or a very clear photograph. If you get a good replica, no one will know where the old one ends and the new one begins.

Old homes are wonderful for their charm and history. If you find yourself with one of these problems, it's worth going  the extra mile to fix it, so you can enjoy your home to its fullest.


13 February 2015

Lawn Care Maintenance: A Year Round Effort

Most of us take great pride in our homes and do everything we can to ensure its beauty and comfort. While attending to our home's interior, we sometimes tend to neglect the lawn, especially during winter. Since moving into my "dream home" I feel compelled to maintain the lawn and garden as impeccably as I do the interior. That's why I've hired a lawn care team to see that my landscape is in tip-top shape all year round. I've learned the importance of fertilization during the late fall and early winter. Keeping the lawn trimmed during those cold winter months will help, too. The experts even help prepare my lawn for the upcoming spring. During this time, family celebrations and parties are plentiful, and I plan to have the best looking lawn on the block. I can't wait for spring to come!